Tsjuder – Emissaries From Hell

You are currently viewing Tsjuder – Emissaries From Hell

Nowadays, there are a few Norwegian Black Metal bands that keep their sound raw, without using keyboards and melodies. A perfect example of that is TSJUDER, who have never followed any trend and still remain brutal and loyal to the Black Metal principles! On the 23rd of June TSJUDER are going to release their new album entitled “Helvegr”. THE GALLERY Web Magazine had the honor to talk on the phone with the band’s bassist/vocalist, Nag, and many things came to the surface!

– Hello Nag and welcome to THE GALLERY Web Magazine. On the 23rd of June 2023 TSJUDER will release their new album “Helvegr”! Would you like to give us some information about it?

Nag: It is a TSJUDER’s album, exactly what you expect to hear from us, as we continue in the same path we have and will always do! I am very satisfied with it. With all this corona situation we had to do things differently, having the opportunity to spent more time and understand what we are doing with the songs and the sounds. I would say that “Helvegr” is the record that reflects TSJUDER the most. Well “Desert Northern Hell” was a very good record and all our albums are good, however I think that the new one is much better, as none of the previous albums reflects us as much.

 – Eight years have passed since the release of your previous album “Antiliv”. When did you start composing new music for Helvegr”?

Nag: We started right after “Antiliv” was released. Of course, in the beginning everything was going slow because everybody needed a little break from the recordings etc. We finished the recording process for the previous album in 2014 and it was released in 2015. So, we started composing new material slowly at the same year and the album was completed somewhere in 2019. Everything was different in the making of this new record, as we tried to create music together in the rehearsal room, like we did in “Antiliv”. This worked fine then, so we decided to do it again. Unfortunately, things did not work the same way, as AntiChristian (ps. the previous drummer of TSJUDER) had a very different opinion about where TSJUDER should move with their new music. There were quite a lot of disagreements and finally we decided that we had to part ways with AntiChristian. During that process, Draugluin (ps. guitars and backing vocals) composed most of the music for the album. He was fed up because we were just hitting the wall. He took matters in his own hands and start creating music. Of course, so did I while we had those discussions about the music. Due to this process, the new album took a little longer….

– As I understand, TSJUDER has and a new drummer who is making his debut in this upcoming release. How did this collaboration start?

Nag: Yes! His name is Jon “The Charn” Rice and we were in contact with him for many years, as we needed a drummer to play with us in the States. He was supposed to but it did not happen. While in contact with him, we decided that we needed a new drummer, capable in doing things by himself and remotely. We talked with John and he was positive to join us. We were in contact with him every day, and we saw that there was chemistry between us as he really understood the songs and what we wanted. So, we did not have to discuss a lot as we just gave him the songs and told him to do his part. He was always recording the songs during his rehearsals so after that, we just talked about some minor changes. What you are going to hear in the album is actually what he suggested…

– Indeed! In the first two singles, “Iron Beast” and “Gods of Black Blood” you can hear his powerful drumming and, as I was listening to “Gods of Black Blood”, I caught myself thinking of that great drumming!

Nag: Exactly! It is extremely good and there is absolutely no editing. What was recorded is exactly what he played! It was very easy for us to work with the drums and the mixing process.

– In your upcoming album I noticed that you have a new logo. Basically, it is your old logo with some minor changes. What is the background behind that change? Also, can you give us some information about the artwork of the album? It looks very beautiful…

Nag: Hahaha! It’s funny because I’ ve been waiting for this question and you are the first to say something about it! First of all, the artwork is drawn by a girl from Italy and her name is Laura Nardelli. It is based on the title track “Helvegr”. It shows hell at the front. As you open the cover, you see inside hell and when you flip the cover you actually see through hell”s eyes. Regarding the logo, I would say that we were already very satisfied with our old logo, however there were some issues with it because it is not symmetrical. So, every time we wanted to make a t-shirt we had to off-set the logo. For the new album, the logo had to be in the center but the old did not fit. So we made some changes. That is the answer to your question. I think the new one is better and a bit grimmer. We had it in three different versions, one with the goat, one without and one with blood dripping. Also, it fits perfectly with our new artwork as it was drawn into the artwork. Of course, we are also going to use the old logo as it is our trademark.

– “Helvegr” is going to be released in various formats and there are two limited ones (box sets vinyl and CD) which include as a bonus the mini album “Tribute to Bathory – Scandinavian Black Metal Attack” featuring BATHORY’s founding member Frederick Melander! Can you tell us more about it?

Nag: It”s about 30-minutes length. We have been playing with Frederick some shows and we already had contact. So, he was asking us when we can play a concert together, as he wanted to play BATHORY songs. So we thought why not record some cover songs together. He was really keen on it, as he wanted to do it more than we did. We did five songs for now and I am very satisfied about the result. I believe that our sound fits perfectly to BATHORY’s songs.

– On Inferno Metal Festival 2018 Frederick played also some BATHORY songs with you on stage. Is something similar going to happen in next year’ s Inferno Metal Festival?

Nag: I hope to do some shows with him but I cannot say something about next Inferno festival. The only thing I can say for now is that in 2024, is has been 40 years since Scandinavian Metal Attack was released (hahaha!). We will see…time will tell!

– Are there any tour plans to promote your new album? Also, what is your opinion about the situation with tours and live performances? There is an ongoing issue with the merch cuts from the venues and, even the big names like ANTHRAX, have logistics problems. Even James Hetfield and METALLICA were saying that they are not able to tour in every city anymore, so the fans will have to travel…

Nag: The problem is that there is a big backlog from corona and many bands that were supposed to play in 2020, they are playing now. So, for this summer there are no plans. We have a few planned concerts but they are not announced yet. The only announced appearances are in Belgium on the 27th of May 2023 and in Mexico on November 2023. Regarding the issues with the tours, I believe that the main reason is that everything is more expensive, even airplane tickets are doubled in price. So, let’s hope to get soon back in normality…

– When you compose music and write lyrics for TSJUDER, which are your sources of inspiration?

Nag: It depends! Regarding the lyrics it’s hard to say actually because I might be in my cabin, see something as an inspiration, write one sentence and then built on it. For the new album I wrote some lyrics about Norse mythology. Also, another source of inspiration is from things happened in life. For the song “Helvegr”, Desecrator (ps. TSJUDER’s ex-drummer) contributed some lyrics and joined me. Also, Seidenamm from 1349 wrote some lyrics for us. I would say that lyrics are a collaboration. I sent some lyrics to Draugluin also and made his suggestions or some things he can add or change. As for the music, it is the typical music stuff BATHORY, HELLHAMMER, CELTIC FROST. Also for me SEPULTURA, SARCOFAGO, VULCANO, Brazilians bands from the 80’s early 90s and of course MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, MARDUK, GORGOROTH, IMMORTAL. The thing with TSJUDER is that we never change our inspiration sources. For an example, in every album we have influences from “Pure Holocaust” and from “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. Those two albums are included as an influence in every TSJUDER’s album!

– Earlier you mentioned that “Helvegr” reflects you the most. Would you like to explain that to us?

Nag: I think that “Helvegr” is the first album that we were really determined! We have been trying different sounds to make sure that it will sound as we wanted to sound. Of course all of our albums are good, but in the past we have not been technically familiar with things that the producers do. The truth is that we did not care about it. In “Helvegr” whenever the producer tried to switch something, we knew what was doing on. In the new album we wanted a more raw and extreme sound. From example in the album “Antiliv” we had some guitars in the background and we built the sound with all the guitars on top. But in new album we aimed for a more brutal sound. Also, we are never interested in going to big studios as the majority of bands do. In smallest studios you can do stuff by yourself and you can achieve your personal sound, without any pressure.

– So, that’s the reason that in the first two singles from “Helvegr”, we hear TSJUDER”s sound more dynamic, compared to your previous albums! Did you try this time any new patterns with the vocals and the music?

Nag: Firstly, about the vocals, we sing together with Draugluin. So we have the typical Black Metal vocals in some parts and Death Metal vocals in other parts. But, yes we tried something different voices at the background, like talking. Our voices’ volume is very low but it is there. For example, in the single “Gods Of Black Blood”, the first part is totally different from how I sing normally. This time I tried to achieve more dynamic vocals. As for the guitars, we also tried some new things in order to build a more dynamic sound. We achieved that using tons of guitar sounds, much more than we had in the past. That’s why the guitar sound is more massive!

– While checking the tracklist of “Helvegr”, I noticed a variety of duration in the songs. Probably you have some fast-tempo songs and some mid-tempo ones, with the BATHORY/CELTIC FROST influences still present. This was done on purpose or did it come up during the creation process?

Nag: It was done on purpose as we tried to have different types of songs in order to make the album more interesting. We did not want to have only blastbeats! So, in this album we have the typical fast song like “Iron Beast”, which is a straight-forward song and on the other hand we have songs like the title track which is totally different and extremely slow. We tried to include both types of songs…

– In 2017 you re-released your first EP “Throne Of The Goat”, which included the original version and a re-recorded version. Why did you decide to do that release? Also, do you have any future plans for another special releases? Your demos for example…

Nag: Not for now. We decided to release our first EP because it was always something special for us and we are still good friends with the guys from that line-up. So, it began after a talk we had about how cool it would be if we do something together again. This re-recorder version was actually recorded on the same day, 20 years later from it’s release! As for the future, we have not talked about doing something else. We’ll see….

– For your previous album “Antiliv”, you had some screen print artwork for each song. This was something unique and the artwork was really impressive and evil. Do you intend to do the same with the new songs?

Nag: Responsible for that print artwork was Vincent Fouquet (Above Chaos), who did the artwork for “Antiliv”. We worked a lot for the artwork of “Antiliv” and the screen print for each song was great.  If Laura wants to do something similar with the songs of “Helvegr”, I am ok with that and I believe that she has some screen printing in mind…

– How do you see the Black Metal scene nowadays? Which are the main differences compared to the past and the years you started the band?

Nag: The truth is that I don’t see much, as I live far away. To be honest I am not very interested for that. I have my friends from the scene and from bands, and we are hanging out. For me, that is the most important. Of course we need new bands and new people. But I believe that things are very different now. In the 90s Black Metal was kind of “fear music”, kind of “dangerous”, which I personally think that still is. However, today you can see it on mainstream TV and magazines…so, I care more for my friends coming from the scene and that’s it.

– Ok, those were my questions! Nag I would like to thank you for your time. You can end this interview as you wish…

Nag: Thank you for the interview. We are glad and honored that people want to talk to us and have interest for TSJUDER. So, I would like to send my evil greetings to the family of THE GALLERY and if you like brutal and raw Black Metal, check out our new album “Helvegr”!

Interview: Nikos Manousis
Cover Artwork: Alexandros Soultatos
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Photos: Chantik Photography
Date: May 5th, 2023
External Link: TSJUDER – Facebook Page
Copyright © 2023 by THEGALLERY.GR     

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Alex Galletti

    You guys did a great job with the interview.
    Tsjuder have already realesed 2 amazing singles.Can wait to hear the entire album and hope to see them performing live in Greece.

Leave a Reply